I really want to love the show. I am a big fan of Joss Whedon. I loved Firefly, Buffy, Dollhouse, and Agents Of SHIELD follows the same basic formula, an ensemble cast of oddball characters dealing with bizarre situations.
But I am currently about two episodes behind, and I don’t have any real desire to catch up. Somehow there isn’t the same “gotta know what happens next” feeling that drove me to stay up late watching Firefly straight through.
I think a lot of it is the characters. There are three characters I like (Colson, May, and Ward) and three characters that I don’t care for (Skye, Fitz & Simmons–I’m still can’t keep track which is which). There really isn’t anyone that I really love–not in the way I loved Jayne or Kaylee or Xander or Willow or Topher.
Also, there isn’t the same feeling of risk. Whedon isn’t scared to kill of characters, but I get the feeling that ABC is. There was a scene a few episodes back in which the female Wonder Twin jumped out of an airplane without a parachute, but I didn’t feel like she was in any real danger because I knew that they would find some way to save her. (SPOILER: They did.)
And thirdly, I’m just not feeling the mythology. I like the concept of superhero universes, and I think the idea of what effect the superpowered people have on ordinary folk is one that offers a very rich ground for stories. Alan Moore played with that theme in Watchman and Miracleman. Frank Miller used it in The Dark Knight and much of his work on Daredevil.
Somehow it’s not jelling for me in Agents, though, and I’m not sure why. Part of it, I think, may be that the characters are too close to being superpowered themselves. Again, there is the feeling that the world is too safe. Buffy and her friends were always outnumbered and outgunned, and Mal’s crew was surviving by the skin of their teeth.
Colson, however, has the backing of a vast government organization. May is practically a combat superhero, and Ward isn’t far behind her. Fitz & Simmons are basically wizards, with Skye as a semi-omniscient seer. Since they aren’t fighting against “real” superheroes, I haven’t gotten any sense that they have really been in a desperate situation. Somebody was always ready to pull a rabbit out of a hat and save the day.
So, any fans of the show out there? Am I missing something? Do you feel the same way about it? Does anybody not loathe Fitz & Simmons?